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Cafe beverages


helenjp
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Need your help!

I was recently asked for cold beverage ideas for a coffeeshop run by a sheltered workplace group in Tokyo. Apart from hot and cold coffee and tea, their staple has been sesame/banana milkshake or lemonade, and clients are asking for something new!

I imagine the milkshake is made something like this:

1 medium banana

2 tsp raw sugar or other sweetener to taste

2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds, black or white, or 1-2 tsp sesame paste

200ml (call it a cup) of soy or dairy millk

Whizz in blender, serve over ice. (Makes two Japanese-size servings with plenty of ice.

So they need something that will not be too hard for staff to make (these people don't have intellectual handicaps, but even depression can affect the ability to learn and remember things), nor too expensive (even more cuts in subsidies to sheltered workshops recently), but with some appeal (exotic or healthy twist) for clients - young office workers, mothers and retired couples out for a stroll along the nearby river.

Apart from super-cooling midsummer drinks, there's a demand for spring/fall drinks too.

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What about frappes? (not the milky starbucks kind) - I used to make them in Australia a lot as they are really refreshing. I made them very simply - just cold espresso with a little water, lots of ice and sugar to taste - whizz in a blender (or you can use a stick blender) and voila!

I've just come back from Japan (and you will be able to confirm or deny this Helenjp!) but it seems that cold coffee beverages - including non dairy ones - are very popular

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If there's room to freeze things, maybe granitas would work?

Affogato... A scoop of ice cream and a shot of espresso (or coffee).

Lemonade (U.S. style) blended with crushed ice and mint (aka "limonana," in the Middle East).

Any pulpy fruit juice or fruit-juice concentrate blended with ice and soda water or a fizzy drink...

And something with cucumber would be refreshing. :smile:

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Oh great, some good ideas already!

Yes, cold coffee always popular. I was mulling over some summery variation of Vietnamese coffee. Any flavoring or serving idea for frappes that might catch?

I'm not sure on how much room there is for freezing - probably not a lot, but then, it's not hugely busy. A bigger problem would be the need to leave the serving area and go to the fridge - being a sheltered workplace, people don't always turn up reliably for their shift.

Cucumber, yes, I was considering cucumber/yogurt doogh, or cucumber/sudachi (a green citrus) soda, or maybe green tea/cucumber/grape juice (which could be pre-mixed)...

Limonana - that's mint BLENDED right into the lemonade? Looks so pretty!

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If they can get hold of tiger nuts, Spanish horchata is a perfect, perfect solution.

Once the sourcing issue is solved, the drink itself isn't hard to make:

Clean the tiger nuts, soak overnight, turn them into puree the next day, strain and allow to cool (adding sugar, cinnamon & lemon rind).

http://yobachan.blogspot.com/2008/01/horch...l-beverage.html

In the summer it can be frozen and turned into granita, so it's possible to make large batches at a time (well it would be if you had room for it). It's also good in Spring and Autumn served cold - perhaps from a thermos flask which should be shaken before pouring.

It can also be mixed with coffee as a (in my opinion) much nicer non-dairy alternative to soy milk. Granita horchata with iced coffee is particularly good.

Tiger nuts/chufas have lots of nutritional benefits, a traditional Spanish remedy against Natsubate, horchata tastes really, really good, and the cafe may have the market cornered, I don't know of anywhere in Japan that sells it.

In fact, it hardly seems known at all in Japan, a google search using オルチャタ didn't yied that many results.

(But get there fast, el Bulli is already including horchata de chufas it on the menu and this will pique the interest of quite a few restaurants)

Edited by MoGa (log)
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Italian sodas - flavoured syrup, soda water, squirt of whipped cream.

Taiwanese-style pearl milk tea (bubble tea). Hmm...actually this one might be a bit too complicated, what with cooking up the tapioca....

There used to be a Italian coffee shop in my neighbourhood that made a concoction of sorbet and tea or juice whizzed in the blender. Kind of like a Slurpee but much, much tastier!

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Do they like avocado?

You could always do an avocado shake.

One avocado

Milk

Sugar

Crushed ice

Pit and peel avocado. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth.

Proportions are up to you; figure 1/2 cup milk, 3 T. sugar. I sometimes substitute condensed milk for the sugar. I don't know if avocadoes are available in Japan but I thought it might be a good contribution. :wink:

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I like this recipe for Icy Pumpkin Smoothie because it had "fall flavors", but is still refreshing. Soymilk works very well in this recipe, which is a plus for lactose-intolerant folks. Plus, canned pumpkin is a nice shelf-stable addition to add creaminess and nutrition- so long as it is readily available in Japan?

Main downside I see is that you'd need room for frozen bananas....or ice if you're just using room-temp bananas.

Oh, and I tend to just use pumpkin pie spice instead of the combination......and will sometimes substitute honey if I'm out of maple syrup.

http://www.recipezaar.com/192148

Good luck!

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I just asked my husband's opinion and he thinks the lemon (or lemon & mint) idea should work.

He also suggests 'savoury' vegetable juices for the summer. In his experience, people in Tokyo get real cravings for vegetable drinks during this time of the year and will prefer real vegetable juice to the canned stuff given the option.

This would be dependent on having a good juicer though. He was wondering about portion control, and our thought was that people could pick out their own, with the vegetables/fruit priced individually according to value. Either a la carte, or in pre-mixed packs. Once the vegetables/fruit are chosen they get pushed through the juicer onto ice. Customers can add their own salt if they wish.

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You might want to look into a Japanese publication called Cafe Sweets that is aimed at cafe owners. I have an issue from a few years ago, and it has tons of recipe for various cold drinks.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Limonana - that's mint BLENDED right into the lemonade? Looks so pretty!
Right--fresh lemonade, ice, and a big handful of mint, whizzed together. Whenever I had it, it had the consistency of a Slurpee. :smile:
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Cafe Sweets, oh yes, I've never had a good enough excuse to buy an issue before.

Vegetable juices, yes, there is something about Tokyo humidity that turns you off really sweet things, no matter how icy cold. I've been thinking about something similar to tomato water, understated.

Bitter melon juice (cut with green grape juice etc) is popular at juice bars here.

Avocadoes are here, but avocado icecream and avocado juice seem to have only a sluggish popularity. Honey/lemon/ice, or yogurt/honey/soy milk seem to be the popular additives...maybe the problem is in this horrible joke I spotted:

"Looks like barium, but it's actually 'bari-uma' [very tasty]"...

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